Insights and Resources

5 Mistakes You Should Avoid When Planning Your Next Audience Development Efforts

Four months into your 2012 budget and goals and you have been asked to do more with less. Time is money and yet you have the challenge of reaching the right audience at the right time using the right message. In addition to that, now is the time to start scheduling, planning and ensuring you meet your goals quickly and efficiently.


We understand many decisions lay ahead this year. You are mulling over many new media concepts and advice from industry pubs, co-workers and most importantly your boss. How much should you allocate to fax, email, tip-on, cover wraps and telemarketing? Now is the time to sit down and ensure that best practices and methods are specified in your plan as well. As we all know, the name of the controlled circulation game is about preparation and timing. And most importantly, it is about execution. At the end of the day, there is no better vehicle for one-to-one marketing to reach your target audience and meet your goals than telemarketing.


Mistake 1: Providing a list without prepopulated data

As of this year BPA will allow the use of prepopulated data in your telemarketing file. This can be a huge benefit that could result in better program yield and improved subscriber experience. By providing us with last year’s address label information and demographics, the phone script is improved dramatically. Rather than asking the same questions they may have answered last year or may have just been asked by a call for a sister publication, our agents can simply say ‘Is the following information correct?” This makes the call time efficient and takes less effort from the subscriber to update their subscription. Which in turn means, your subscribers are more likely to update and renew their subscription next time.
Mistake 2: Not considering the user experience

In a world full of gadgets and media, your audience has many choices. Not only do they have the choice to consume content from your competitor, but they can choose the communication vehicle. That means contact with your subscriber is key.  You want to do whatever it takes to make sure you increase the chance of contact and once the contact is made, the experience is a pleasant one.
That is why it is imperative you do not rush or launch all your telemarketing efforts too quickly. Not only is this approach stressful for you, it could upset your accounting department and management team. When you provide a large list and short turn around time, that typically leaves your vendor/partner with no other choice but to rush through a large volume of numbers in a short period of time. This limited time frame could impact the perception of the subscriber in a very negative way. It could impact your program so much that you could lose your audience.


Another mistake is timing the telemarketing efforts of multiple pubs at the same time or asking multiple telemarketing vendors to call a split list. Not only does the user receive multiple calls, but the likelihood the gatekeeper or receptionist will call and complain is high. Rather we recommend you streamline your effort by making your vendor partners aware of the overlap so that they and their production department can plan accordingly. Another great option is to run a dual or multiple effort. That means, we are asking your subscriber to say yes to two or three publications at once. This can make for an effective call and can in many cases impact your bottom line!  Be sure to start early and give all parties enough time to work through your valuable lists.
Mistake 3: Providing your vendor with the wrong, outdated or incorrect list

A bad list can be defined as a list that does not match the intended criteria you set out for your telemarketing vendor/partner to collect. For example, if you want to collect a subscriber that matches 2 responses in the title category, what happens if 80% of the list you provided falls outside those parameters? As you can imagine, this is simply a bad use of time and resources. Ensure that your list is updated, contains your target audience and is in line with the messaging you have established. .
Be sure to segment by demographic –based data like size of company, title, location, geographical area and segmentation in other areas; such as business type, industry, relationship and role in the organization. Be sure to track performance of these lists by the yield of your telemarketing efforts. If they are great, you know you have a great list provider that you should us for efforts next year.


Mistake 4: Providing a caller experience that lacks a ‘local neighborhood’ feel
Remember, every subscriber contact or ‘touch-point” is a reflection of your company. Dialect, slang and tone can play a major role in the user experience. If performed incorrectly, your reputation and the reputation of the publication can be at stake. This seems like a very simple concept and yet like the front door of your building, your logo and all your other marketing efforts, first impressions are everything.  The reality is that even though offshore telemarketing can provide very low rates, the risks will outweigh the cost savings. Is the audit risk and the bad user experience worth it?
Mistake 5: Ignoring Mobile Integration completely

With the increased use of mobile devices and tablets, it is important to consider the use of mobile media in your plan. For example, Smartphone usage is past 100 million US subscribers in 2012. That means there’s a 50% chance your customers are now holding a smartphone; and 80% are using it to change how they shop. Plus, 2012 forecasts call for a 73% rise in mCommerce sales and 60% rise in tablet sales.  A great way to start is to ask your telemarketer to verify or collect mobile numbers for other marketing efforts. You can integrate message drops or SMS text messages to your other marketing efforts (webinars, conferences, email, etc.)

By Kinjal Husges

California Marketing Group
8352 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
San Diego CA, 92111
Tel: 858.279.5585
Toll Free: 800.772.2658
Fax: 858.279.2079


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